Department of National Security and Strategy - U.S. Army War College - Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania
U.S. Army War College
Strategic Studies Institute
Army Heritage and Education Center
Collins Hall
Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute

National Security Policy Program


The National Security Policy Program (NSPP) is a “how to make policy” course of study. It is designed to provide selected students with a detailed understanding of the contemporary United States Government national security policy-making environment and the fundamentals for the actual craft of national security policy-making and implementation. At the conclusion, program graduates will be prepared for success in the critical policy planner positions in the Washington-based interagency, with any of the combatant commander staffs, and in American billets in international organizations such as NATO and the United Nations.
What is NSPP?

The NSPP is designed to provide selected U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine officer and civilian students with an opportunity to immerse themselves in those studies necessary to prepare them for the conduct of policy-making and planning at the national and theater levels.
Curriculum Details

The NSPP program will be taught during the electives period between 9 March and
1 June and will be centered around the following three (3) required courses. These courses will be taken in addition to a special version of the mandatory Regional Studies Elective (RSE) that is specifically designed for the NSPP program. The three NSPP required courses follow:
Policy-Making and Implementation (PMI): Study of actual policy-making/crafting and Implementation.
The Interagency and National Security: Over-view of the Washington-based policy- making environment, to include its interaction with the combatant commands and State Department embassy country teams.
Directed Research: To support research for a real world policy development project on behalf of the Joint Staff J5/OSD Policy.
NSPP Program Focus

The focus will be on providing the student with practical application tools for the national/theater-level policy planner. This will include the use of in-class learning centered around three core courses. Maximum exposure will be provided to the analysis of actual case studies, guest speakers who have been policy practioners, student participation in policy-based exercises, and travel to relevant agencies.

Experimental Learning

National security policy formulation in-class exercise that assesses understanding of the policy formulation process. Capstone event of the PMI course.

Extensive travel to strategic and operational-level interagency for a first hand view of the policy process.
Washington interagency internship experience.
Joint Staff J5/OSD Research Project – crafting a policy recommendation in support of Joint Staff J5/OSD real world requirements.
National Security Policy
Program Student Selection Opportunities

The AY 12 class will be comprised of 17 students from both the U.S. military (joint, active, reserve) and U.S. civilian student population. All students will be required to possess, at a minimum, a U.S. Top Secret clearance. NSPP student selection will be made based upon a review of the student's application (to be obtained from your DNSS faculty instructor), personnel record, and faculty recommendations. Personal interviews will be conducted as necessary.

Travel and Internship

To be integrated throughout the course of the Entire NSPP program.

Tampa, Florida: Combatant Commands:

Washington DC: Interagency:

Five-day interagency wide trip spending whole or half days with designated depart- ments and agencies (NSC Staff, State Department, OSD Policy, Joint Staff J5, Dept of Homeland Security, National Counterterrorism Center, (NCTC), DIA, CIA)
Washington DC: Interagency Internship:

Four and a half days within a designated department or agency (State Department, OSD Policy, Joint Staff J5, Dept of Homeland Security, NCTC, Office of the Trade Representative).
Washington DC: Congress/Interagency Watchers:

Two days, with one entire day on Capitol Hill with members and staffs from both the House and Senate, as well as a second day for discussions with senior personnel that served in and studied the interagency.
Upon Graduation

All those completing NSPP will be eligible for policy-making/planning positions with the Joint Staff, OSD, STATE, the NSC staff and any of the service and combatant command staffs. All Army personnel will have it noted on their Officer Record Briefs in the Military Education block that they are graduates of the NSPP. The USAWC will work with the other services to do the same. Participation in the program will have no impact on O-6 command. An NSPP graduate will be eligible at any time, either before or after brigade command, for national/theater-level policy positions.